Wednesday, August 29, 2012

UPDATE: Gary Johnson will won't be on ballot in Oklahoma

Sooner State knocks Libertarian hopeful off ballot
By Patrick B. McGuigan | CapitolBeatOK

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Election Board removed the Americans Elect party from the November presidential election ballot Wednesday, effectively knocking out Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

The decision was made based on the advice of the state Attorney General’s Office.

Earlier this summer, the state Americans Elect party had designated a slate of presidential electors and named Johnson as its candidate, even as the national party’s directors spiked the group’s nationwide drive to provide an alternative to the two major parties.

Secretary of the State Election Board Paul Ziriax said in a statement sent Wednesday morning to CapitolBeatOK:

“You have previously asked me about the conflicting instructions the State Election Board received from the Directors of the Americans Elect party and a local group claiming to on act on behalf of the Americans Elect party. (The Board of Directors of the party instructs that the Americans Elect party will not field any candidates for President or Vice President, while the local group instructs that the party has chosen candidates for President and Vice President – the same candidates chosen by the Libertarian Party in other states.)”

Ziriax said Assistant Attorney General Neal Leader advised the Election Board that it “should not place the Americans Elect Party president and vice-presidential candidates or presidential electors on the November 2012 general election ballot in Oklahoma.”

Ziriax told CapitolBeatOK, “Our staff will proceed with our general election ballot preparations accordingly.”

In his 20-page analysis of the legal questions involved, Leader said the national group retained control of the party’s ballot line, and the national directors’ decision held in the state.

Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, said Leader’s written opinion “contains no references to any court cases to justify his opinion.”

Winger contends the Election Board and Leader “have acted in a deceitful manner.”

Americans Elect gained ballot status in March after a successful petition campaign that enjoyed the support of David Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma effort began with fanfare in January, achieving success in March, after a Libertarian-organized drive fell short of the required signatures. Oklahoma is widely considered one of the most difficult states for ballot access.

Just weeks ago, local activists submitted electors to state officials, in support of Johnson, but on a parallel track the national Americans Elect party informed the Election Board it was abandoning its drive “in all states in which Americans Elect has obtained a ballot access line” with the “unanimous written consent” of the national group’s directors.

Contact Patrick McGuigan at

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

GPS tag catches Pat Key volunteer stealing Dean Martin signs

Up in Tulsa County, Republican County Clerk candidates Pat Key and Dean Martin are in a rather rough-and-tumble runoff election. Martin's campaign has for weeks complained about his signs being stolen across the county - a typical campaign season issue.

However, one clever Martin supporter decided to do something about the stolen signs. Jared, the Martin volunteer, purchased a dog tracker GPS tag, and taped it on the inside of a Dean Martin yard sign, and placed it on a piece of private property that had been a hot spot for missing Martin signs.

Early this morning, he received an email stating that his "dog" had escaped. Due to his ingenuity, he was able to track down the culprit - Lee Belmonte, a Pat Key volunteer. Belmonte was captured on film stealing Dean Martin signs, upon which the Bixby police department was called, and Belmonte was arrested.

I must say, using GPS to catch a sign-stealer is impressive. Kudos to Jared!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mike Huckabee hammers GOP establishment over Todd Akin

"The deadline came and went on Tuesday for Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to drop out over an incorrect comment he made about rape. The Republican establishment put unprecedented and intense pressure on Todd to quit, including five current and past Missouri Senators. But in an exclusive interview on my radio show, Akin said he’s “in this race to the end.” He said he admitted he misspoke and that his statement was not accurate, but he’d sincerely apologized. You can listen to the audio from that interview on my website."

"The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren't rational, left him behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound. In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican. Not for a moral failure or corruption or a criminal act, but for a misstatement which he contritely and utterly repudiated. I was shocked by GOP leaders and elected officials who rushed so quickly to end the political life of a candidate over a mistaken comment in an interview. This was a serious mistake, but it was blown out of proportion not by the left, but by Akin's own Republican Party. Is this what the party really thinks of principled pro-life advocates? Do we forgive and forget the verbal gaffes of Republicans who are "conveniently pro-life" for political advantage, but crucify one who truly believes that every life is sacred?"

"Who ordered this "Code Red" on Akin? There were talking point memos sent from the National Republican Senatorial Committee suggesting language to urge Akin to drop out. Political consultants were ordered to stay away from Akin or lose future business with GOP committees. Operatives were recruited to set up a network of pastors to call Akin to urge him to get out. Money has changed hands to push him off the plank. It is disgraceful. From the spotlights of political offices and media perches, it may appear that the demand for Akin’s head is universal in the party. I assure you it is not. There is a vast, but mostly quiet army of people who have an innate sense of fairness and don't like to see a fellow political pilgrim bullied. If Todd Akin loses the Senate seat, I will not blame Todd Akin. He made his mistake, but was man enough to admit it and apologize. I'm waiting for the apology from whoever the genius was on the high pedestals of our party who thought it wise to not only shoot our wounded, but run over him with tanks and trucks and then feed his body to the liberal wolves. It wasn't just Todd Akin that was treated with contempt by the thinly veiled attack on Todd Akin. It was all the people who have faithfully knocked doors, made calls, and made sacrificial contributions to elect Republicans because we thought we were welcome in the party. Todd Akin owned his mistake. Who will step up and admit the effort being made to discredit Akin and apologize for the sleazy way it's been handled?"

"I’ve always believed and still do, that if you don’t honor your friendships, you don’t honor yourself. And I consider Todd a friend. So I will join Todd as often as I can, in his fight for our Party’s pro-life policies, traditional marriage and our efforts to rein in the massive expansion of government under President Obama. Todd is being systematically scourged for one thing he said. Is that more important than what Claire McCaskill has DONE over her 6 years in the Senate? If you’d like to join the fight, and help defeat a Democrat Senator standing in the way of a conservative majority, I encourage you to join me. The party has decided it won't help. In fact, it has decided that it will try to cut off the supply lines to Akin to pressure him to exit and let the party bosses overturn the voters of Missouri and pick their own candidate. If this can happen to Todd Akin, who is next?"

"I’ve heard the talk of new deadlines and the nonsense about the Republican Party running a 3rd party candidate, but I am no longer listening to that noise. The idea that our Party would continue to play games behind the scenes and feed the Democrats make-believe narrative of the GOP’s fictional war on women is equally ridiculous. Now is the time to focus on electing a conservative Senate Majority. And if the NRSC and RNC and the money-rich PACS won't help Todd Akin get us to the majority, then we'll do it without them. And his seat will not have been sold to the highest bidder, but obtained by the highest principles."

Gov. Mike Huckabee

Thursday, August 23, 2012

OKGOP launches web ad: "Mr. President, I Built This"

The Oklahoma Republican Party today launched its latest web ad: “Mr. President, I Built This”. The video highlights President Obama’s outrageous comment to business owners that, “You didn’t build that.”

“The Oklahoma Republican Party stands with the millions of hardworking Americans across the country that believe hard-work and ingenuity are what breed success,” said Chairman Matt Pinnell. “President Obama’s comments were an enlightening - and frightening - window into the Democrats’ ongoing ‘War on Success’. This highlights the fundamental difference between the two parties and the two different visions for America as we head into the fall.”

Following the national uproar over the President comments, the Obama campaign argued the comments were “taken out of context.” As the Republican National Committee pointed out, the full context of the comments are in fact even worse than the specific line: “You didn’t build that.”

“These comments are indicative of what President Obama and his Democrat allies truly believe,” continued Pinnell. “It is their belief that government and its benevolence is what allows small businesses to succeed. As Republicans, we firmly believe it is the hard work of the individual that causes success.”

“These two visions are starkly laid out in the race between Governor Romney and President Obama,” said Pinnell. “President Obama believes that to turn our economy around, all we need is another government program, another handout, another ‘stimulus.’ Governor Romney understands what President Reagan did, that often government is the problem rather than the solution.”

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will fight to cut the red tape and end the onerous regulations holding our economy back. President Obama just offers more and more government, and more and more spending. This is a contrast we intend to highlight every single day between now and Election Day,” concluded Pinnell.

The Oklahoma Republican Party’s ad, “Mr. President, I Built This” can be viewed here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Paul Ryan for VP

Mitt Romney announced this morning that he was tapping Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Ryan, aged 42, is the current Chairman of the House Budget Committee. He is extremely sharp and articulate, and comes from a swing state that will be crucial in the November elections.

Ryan happens to have close ties to Oklahoma - his wife Janna is from the Madill area, and is Congressman Dan Boren's cousin.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Boren stars in lighthearted video - "5 Things Before I Leave Congress"

With all of the disappointing and appalling news that often comes out of the political world, a little levity is needed from time to time. Oklahoma's 2nd District Congressman Dan Boren (D-Muskogee) was the star of a pretty humorous interview on Capitol Hill this week.

Andrew Heaton of asked the retiring congressman if there was "anything you've done or would like to do before leaving Congress". Whatever political differences you may have with the Blue Dog Congressman, the ensuing video is a must-see!

Congressman, I laughed the whole way through - well done!

OCPAC Endorses George Faught

OCPAC Endorses Faught for Congress

Muskogee, OK – Yesterday the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee voted to endorse George Faught in his race for the GOP nomination in CD-2.

Faught stated, "I was honored to join the group last week and listen to issues they were concerned about and answer their questions. OCPAC and its members stick to their conservative convictions and I am pleased to have their support."

Charlie Meadows, President of OCPAC said, "After appearing before OCPAC and going through an intensive question and answer session our members determined that George Faught is far better qualified to serve in the US Congress than his opponent. George has a better grasp of the Constitution and his experience will work for the benefit of the citizens in the 2nd District, particularly his consistent, principled opposition to ObamaCare."

OCPAC focuses on promoting conservative constitutional values in the Oklahoma state Legislature and holds legislators accountable through their constant involvement and communication with the voters of Oklahoma.

Staunchly pro-life, pro-business, and pro-limited government, George Faught has been endorsed by Gov. Mike Huckabee, Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones, Gun Owners of America, David Barton, the Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association, Family Research Council Action PAC, Concerned Women PAC, Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, the Minuteman ProjectAmerican Conservative PAC, and many other conservative groups and individuals.

 Longtime owner and operator of a successful carpet cleaning business, Faught and his wife of almost 30 years, Becky, live in Muskogee, and are the parents of three grown children - all born and raised in Muskogee. In 2006, Faught became the first Republican ever elected to the State House in his Muskogee-based district. You can learn more about George and his campaign by visiting his website, and by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

The 2nd District runoff is on August 28th.

Exclusive: Conflict and Confusion - Will Gary Johnson be on Oklahoma's ballot?

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, erstwhile GOP-candidate-turned-Libertarian-Party-nominee, missed out on making the ballot in Oklahoma when the Oklahoma Libertarian Party failed to submit enough validated signatures to receive a ballot access. However, the story may not be over yet for Johnson and his Oklahoma Libertarian Party supporters.

Americans Elect successfully waged a ballot access campaign in Oklahoma earlier this year, with the intention of nominating a presidential candidate through their unconventional online voting process. The venture ultimately failed, as no candidate met their stated criteria, and thus the group did not nominate a candidate, after getting on the ballot in over 30 states.

All political parties had until August 8th to submit their nominees for president and vice-president (technically, they submit electors pledged to their party nominees).

On August 7th, Rex Lawhorn (Oklahoma state chairman of Americans Elect) submitted electors to the State Election Board for ballot certification. These electors were pledged to Gary Johnson for President and James Gray for Vice-President, the Libertarian Party candidates.

Americans Elect - State

But in a letter dated August 6th, the national Americans Elect organization wrote to the State Election Board intending to dissolve their status as a political party in Oklahoma.

Americans Elect - National

I contacted the State Election Board to ask some questions about the situation, and received a response from State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.

"Attached are PDF scans of conflicting correspondence to the State Election Board from the national Americans Elect organization and an in-state group that says it is the Oklahoma chapter of Americans Elect. This is a very unusual situation, so we are seeking legal advice from our counsel at the Attorney General’s office about how to proceed," Ziriax told me in an email.

When there is an update to this story, I will post it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Gov. Fallin to speak at Republican National Convention

Governor Fallin Selected as Headline Speaker for Republican National Convention
Pinnell: "another reminder that Governor Fallin is a national conservative leader"

(Oklahoma City)- Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell today congratulated Governor Mary Fallin upon the announcement that she has been selected as a headlining speaker to the Republican National Convention later this month in Tampa, Florida. The exact time and date of Governor Fallin's speech will be announced at a later date. Governor Fallin also spoke to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

"I'd like to congratulate Governor Fallin on being selected as a headlining speaker at the Republican National Convention later this month," said OKGOP Chairman Matt Pinnell. "This is yet another reminder to us Okies that Governor Fallin is a national conservative leader who is taking Oklahoma to new heights. We are proud to call her OUR Governor."

In 2010, Fallin became the first female elected Governor of Oklahoma. Prior to that, she served as the first female Lt. Governor of Oklahoma from 1994 to 2006. In 2006, Fallin was elected to the United States Congress from Oklahoma's Fifth District. Fallin was the first female to be elected to Congress from Oklahoma since the 1920's.

Governor Fallin has been lauded by national publications as one of the "Most Popular Governors in America," noting her 69% approval rating. Under Governor Fallin's leadership, Oklahoma has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 4.7%, a full 3.6% below the national average. Governor Fallin has been a leader in advocating for America's energy producers and against President Obama's decision to reject the full Keystone XL Pipeline.

"The election this November is about much more than politics. It is a decision we have to make about the direction of America - are we going to continue to tax and spend and grow government far past the point of sustainability, or are we going to restore fiscal sanity to Washington, D.C. and force government to live within its means? In Oklahoma, we work to make government serve the people and not the other way around. Our next president has to share this same commitment and that is why I am so proud to be a part of the Republican National Convention to officially nominate Mitt Romney," said Governor Fallin.

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30, 2012. Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including delegates, alternate delegates, media and other guests. For more information about the 2012 Republican National Convention, visit